We asked artists: What advice do you have for young artists?

— Sam Moore

This week, The MV Times Calendar section continues prying into the lives of local artists and writers. They know better than anyone that the arts aren’t an easy field to break into. So we asked:

What’s one piece of advice you’d give to someone embarking on a career in the arts?

  • Love what you do and stay true to your voice. —Donna Straw
  • Even at the best of times, being an artist or a writer is a solitary enterprise, where satisfaction is elusive. Artists and writers persist because they have to, but rarely are totally content with what they’ve produced. Pierre Bonnard snuck into museums to retouch his paintings. As a character in Joël Dicker’s “The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair,” says, “A piece of writing is never good. There is simply a moment when it is less bad than before.” —Rob Hauck
  • Follow true inspiration and be patient. —Louisa Gould
  • Keep your day job. That was a joke. Go for it. You’ll suffer for the rest of your life if you don’t do it. But there’s no reason why you can’t work to support your art until your art begins to support you. And if you end up needing to be practical and earning a living doing two things (as long as you love the two things), they will feed each other and you. The thing to remember is you don’t need a nice car, you don’t need a lot of stuff, you don’t need, you don’t need, you don’t need. What you need is to nourish your soul, and the way to do that is to not abandon your art. —Nancy Aronie
  • Do exactly what makes you happy, and everything else will fall into place. —Christopher Wright
  • Be prepared to give up excess socialization in order to spend time alone in your studio. —Carol Brown Goldberg
  • Put in the time. —Paul Karasik
  • Do everything you can to be as debt-free as possible, even if it takes you awhile to get to this state. This will give you the freedom to follow your interests, even if it means sacrificing in other areas of your life. The end result is worth it, and your quality of life will be vastly improved. —Elizabeth Whelan
  • I love what the sculptor Sarah Sze says about her process: “Mess. Mess. Mess. Art.” —Geraldine Brooks
  • Allow yourself to enjoy the process. It is a lifelong commitment. There will be difficult challenges as well as amazing successes. Remember you are in it for the long haul, and that even in the hard times you are one of the lucky ones — you get to create every day. —Deborah T. Colter
  • Make sure you truly love what you do, because that passion may be the only reward. And buy Powerball tickets. —Tony Horwitz
  • Never stop making things! Hold strong to your self-worth. You wouldn’t go to a doctor and ask them to do what they know how to do for free, even if they love doing it. Some might forget how much of art making requires the maker’s soul to be involved. It’s a strange balance of making money and feeding your inner being. —Danielle Mulcahy
  • Follow your inspiration. —Stefanie Wolf
  • Paint from within, i.e., painting subject matter you derive joy from doing. —Harry Seymour